Simmons joins green bandwagon

Simmons & Simmons is to become carbon neutral, after an environmental audit revealed that the firm had to spend £114,000 in green projects to offset its carbon footprint.

The firm’s five-person environmental committee – created two years ago, with members from across the firm, not just lawyers – will decide on Monday (27 November) how to spend the pledged £114,000.

Simmons is using The Carbon Neutral Company to oversee its investment. The company gives options of worthy projects around the world, for instance, replacing kerosene lamps in Indian homes with solar panels.

Managing partner Mark Dawkins told The Lawyer that the firm is particularly interested in projects in developing countries.

In addition to working with the company, Simmons has an environmental policy that requires the firm to cut carbon emissions by 7.5 per cent by April 2007. Steps include using more video conferencing rather than flying between offices for meetings and using sensor lighting.

Dawkins said that the £114,000 had not been budgeted for but there was enough contingency money in the firm’s general business expenses pot to cover the amount.

The hope is that next year, after 12 months of implementing environmentally sound projects, the firm’s carbon footprint will be reduced and therefore the amount of money needed to offset carbon emissions will also be smaller.